“Don’t Look Round” and ‘Listen’ in This Week’s Episode of Doctor Who

Photo: Tumblr
Photo: Tumblr

Over the years Steven Moffat has told us his tips for survival in the Whoverse over the years.  First of all we were told not to blink when we first met the Weeping Angels in “Blink” and now we can add “Don’t Look Round” following the events in this week’s episode of the show.  I have to say this was a classic Moffat episode; it was creepy, it was scary without being gory and there were a few things that made me gasp out loud and go “what has just happened”.

What you need to know:

  • The episode opens with the Doctor meditating in outer space and then walking on the ocean floor.  The Doctor is apparently alone in the TARDIS, Clara is back in London living her life.  However, is the Doctor really alone? That is the question.
  • The Doctor asks us and himself “Why do we talk out loud when we know we are alone?” He tells us that it is “because we know we are not!” He also ponders on the question of why is there no creature in the world that can truly hide from everyone.  The answer he gives us is a really simple one and one that made me very glad I wasn’t watching the episode in the dark; “How do you know because you wouldn’t be able to see it.”
  • All whilst this is going on, the Doctor is writing madly on a blackboard, however when he turns back to the board something has erased his musing and simply written ‘LISTEN’.
  • We cut to Clara on a date with Danny Pink, however something did not go well as we see Clara returning to her apartment.
  • We see that Danny was behaving quite unusually on the date, he kept talking about how many people he saved whilst he was in the army and that he helped to build 23 wells.  I still maintain we are going to discover that Danny’s time in the army is going to show us a darker side to the new maths teacher.  Clara storms out of the restaurant (on a fun side note, I watched them film some of these scenes on a trip to Cardiff).
  • Clara discovers the Doctor has parked his TARDIS right in the middle of her bedroom.  The Doctor proceeds to tell her that he needs her.  Once he gets Clara into the TARDIS he talks about what if we are never truly alone.  He then tells Clara that everyone in history has had the exact same nightmare.
  • The nightmare the Doctor describes is that you think you wake up and you think there is someone in your room. You convince yourself there is no one there. You don’t quite believe that so you get out of bed to investigate BUT then someone grabs you for under your bed.
  • Clara is connected to the TARDIS telepathically temporarily to get Clara to focus on the dream to allow the Doctor to see what is under Clara’s bed
  • They travel back to what the Doctor thinks is Clara’s childhood – they arrive at a children’s home in Gloucester which Clara says she hasn’t been to. HOWEVER Danny phoned her as she was flying the TARDIS so this is Danny’s history. She meets a child called Rupert Pink who tells her he is going to change his first name
  • The TV turns itself off in the children’s home, cups of coffee move on their own, strange things happen to the Caretaker.  I would also like to welcome back the psychic paper, I have missed this fun little tool of the Doctor’s.
  • The Doctor tells Clara to return to the TARDIS, however Clara doesn’t go back to the TARDIS like she is told in, instead she goes to see “Rupert” who believes there is something under the bed.  She discovers that he has had the same dream that the Doctor was talking about.
  • Clara and Rupert are under his bed, and someone sat on the bed even though there is no one there. They discover someone under the covers – the Doctor is in the room as well and he turns on the light and he sees the thing on the bed as well. Is something feeding off the fear the dreams create?
  • “Don’t look around – the breath on the back of your neck means don’t look round. No one is safe in the dark and at night”
  • One of the lines of the night has to go to Clara who tells the Doctor “People don’t need to scared by big, grey haired stick insects!!!!!”
  • Clara gives Rupert a toy soldier to protect him but he tells her it is broken because he doesn’t have a gun.  Clara tells him that he is a soldier so brave he doesn’t need a gun, he keeps the whole world safe. Hmm wonder who she might be talking about! The Doctor tells Rupert that the toy soldier is called Dan, the soldier man.
  • Rupert asks Clara to read him a story and the Doctor does some weird telepathic trick and he talked about having Dad skills.
  • Clara realizes who the little boy is and goes back to fix the date with Danny. She calls him Rupert and ruins the date for a second time. After Danny has stormed out of the restaurant a man in an Orange spacesuit appears and is called Colonel Orson Pink and he is identical to Danny. They don’t recognize each other but they are linked to each other.
  • The TARDIS took them back to the end of the universe again to the Silence at the End of Time. Orson Pink is a pioneer time traveller and was sent to the end of the universe by accident.
  • Orson locks the door against the empty end of the universe because there is something out there.
  • In his kitbag he has a family good luck charm which is the soldier Clara gave Rupert/Danny.  He tells Clara that time travel runs in the family because of the stories a great grandparent told.
  • Something is knocking at the locked door at the end of the universe. It opens the door and Colonel Pink saves the Doctor from the unseen
  • Clara takes them away from the end of the universe and she ends up finding a crying boy, and the people who talk to him say that he won’t make the army even though he doesn’t want to. The man replied well he won’t make it in the academy – he won’t be able to be a Time Lord!!! Has she met the young Doctor? Has Clara ended up back on Gallifrey again?
  • She talks to the young timecard and tells that one day he will return to the barn, JOHN HURT alert. Yes we see a flashback to “The Day of the Doctor” and we start to realise that the barn where the three Doctors met obviously means something to the Doctor
  • She tells the young Doctor “Listen, this is just a dream, but very clever people can hear dreams, so please just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn’t anyone ever tell you? Fear is a super power. Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger and one day you’re going to come back to this barn and on that day you’re going to be very afraid indeed, but that’s okay because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind. It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark, so long as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it. So listen, if you listen to nothing else, listen to this, you’re always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there, but that’s okay because fear can bring us together, fear can bring you home.” She leaves the young Doctor the soldier!

So ladies and gentlemen, we have discovered that the thing people are most afraid of is fear! Thanks Steven! I said at the beginning of the season that I had a feeling that the Moffat written episodes were going to leave us breadcrumbs which will lead us up to the season finale and so far I am right.  This episode which I really enjoyed has left me with so many questions. I am going to leave the questions here and it will be interesting to see if any of them are answered as the season progresses.

  • What is Danny Pink’s history?
  • Just how did this little toy soldier make it’s way through time and space, and only come into contact with The Doctor, Clara, Danny, and Orson?
  • Why is that barn so important?
  • Is the Doctor really afraid of the Dark?

What can we expect from next week’s episode “Time Heist”?  According to Steven Moffat he says of the episode which he co wrote with Stephen Thompson;

The Bank of Karabraxos is the deadliest bank in the cosmos – only a fool or a genius would try to rob it. Fortunately for the Doctor, he’s both. With the help of a beautiful shape-shifter and cyber-augmented gamer, the Doctor and Clara fight their way past the most dangerous security system ever devised. But nothing even the Doctor has encountered can prepare them for the Teller: a creature of terrifying power that can detect guilt.

Also check out the trailer for next week’s episode below. See you all next week.

Kirsty Wallace
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